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Vitamin C in Kiwi Fruit: 5 Surprising Facts

Kiwi Fruit

Many people pick oranges as their go-to fruit when they feel they need an extra dose of vitamin C, but there are also plenty of other good natural sources of vitamin C. Take the kiwi fruit, for example. Also known as Chinese gooseberries, kiwis are packed with vitamin C, and just like oranges, they are available all year round. Read on for five interesting facts about the vitamin C content of the kiwi fruit.

1. Golden Kiwis and Green Kiwis Have Different Levels of Vitamin C

According to the National Nutrient Database maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 100-gram serving of green kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) provides 93 milligrams of vitamin C [1]. But guess what: the yellow-fleshed golden kiwis (Actinidia chinensis) may provide even more of this vital nutrient. According to the same database, Zespri's SunGold kiwis, which are known for their golden yellow flesh, provide 161 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, which corresponds to nearly 270 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin C! It is worth noting, though, that other sources have reported less significant differences between green and golden kiwis [2].

2. Kiwis Have More Vitamin C Than Oranges

One thing is for sure: whether you go for the yellow-fleshed golden kiwis or the regular green kiwis, you will get a hefty dose of vitamin C. According to nutrition facts data provided by the USDA, regular kiwis contain almost twice as much as vitamin C as fresh oranges which are often touted as a top source of vitamin C [1]. (To be precise, 100 grams of oranges contain 53 milligrams of vitamin C.) However, neither kiwis nor oranges can beat vitamin C loaded superfoods like sea-buckthorn berries, kakadu plums, camu camu, acerola cherries and baobab fruit, most of which contain over 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams.

3. Organic Kiwis Are Especially Rich in Vitamin C

A study published on the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that organic kiwis contained more vitamin C and phenolic compounds than their non-organic counterparts [3]. Given the both vitamin C and phenolics have antioxidant properties, it is not surprising that the tested organic kiwis also had stronger antioxidant activity, as measured by DPPH free radical scavenging ability. It is also worth mentioning that not only did the organic kiwis contain more antioxidants than the non-organic kiwis, they also had higher levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

4. Dehydrating Does Not Destroy Much of the Vitamin C in Kiwis

Here's yet another surprising fact: dehydrating kiwi fruit does not seem to have a huge impact on its vitamin C content, as long as the drying temperature is not too high. That's the conclusion of a 2010 study published in International Food Research Journal. The researchers dried slices of both green and golden kiwi fruit at 140°F, 176°F and 212°F, and found that there was a notable drop in the vitamin C content of the kiwis only when dried at 212°F [2]. The recommended drying temperature in most recipes for dehydrated kiwi chips is around 130°F to 140°F.

5. Benefits of Eating Vitamin C Rich Foods Such as Kiwi Are Many and Varied

But why are vitamin C rich foods, such as the kiwi fruit, so good for you? Chances are you already know vitamin C helps keep your immune system healthy. But that's hardly the only reason to add vitamin C rich foods to your diet! In addition to promoting a healthy immune system, vitamin C is good for your skin, blood vessels and bones, and it can improve the body's capability to absorb iron from foods. With antioxidant and anti-histamine properties, vitamin C may also be good against asthma. In addition, according to some preliminary research, this versatile nutrient may help promote fat burning in some situations; however, further studies are needed before any definite conclusions can be made about the potential weight loss benefits of vitamin C.

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